Officials in Crawford County voiced their concerns regarding a possible future consolidation of 911 dispatch stations Tuesday.
The Crawford County E-911 Advisory Board met at noon Tuesday to discuss the issue.
"The Arkansas Association of Counties is going to go and they're supporting a change to how ... they're going to raise the assessment on cellphones, but where it all filters back, they're talking about consolidating and consolidation of 911 dispatches," Crawford County Judge Dennis Gilstrap said.
Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown said the Association of Arkansas Counties proposed legislation it would like to see passed during a conference of the Arkansas Sheriff's Association that took place June 4 and 5. The proposal was up for discussion, but there was no comment made by the sheriffs in attendance.
"What it boils down to is an Arkansas association employee got transferred several times, heard a bunch of war stories about being transferred, and his answer is if we consolidate this, that that'll knock down a lot of transfers, but they don't have a concept of how it works," Brown said. "There's three or four in the state of Arkansas that are consolidated. I'm familiar with Craighead County and also Baxter County, and they're entirely two different organizations."
Brown said transfers in this case are transfers of 911 calls from one agency to another.
In the Association of Arkansas Counties' proposal, class I through class VI counties will have one 911 dispatch center, Brown said. Crawford County is a class V county. The county currently has three public safety answering points, with one at the Van Buren Police Department, one at the Alma Police Department and one at the Crawford County Sheriff's Office.
Brown said the Association of Arkansas Counties wants to put this proposal, which is currently in its infancy, through an Arkansas legislative session. He believes his proposal would create more transfers for Crawford County if it were to pass.
Gilstrap said he is concerned about the proposal and has talked to legislators about it.